Prom Trends We Love: 2016

It’s crazy to think about, but now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about prom! What?! In January?! Well, if you want to arrive in the gown of your dreams, it’s time to start planning ahead so you don’t have to get stuck settling at the last minute.

To start giving you some ideas, I assembled a list of my fave trends for Prom 2016! I hope you find some ideas and elements you love, and I hope I can help you make your dream dress a reality!

Here are my top seven trends for this spring:

1. Crop tops

This was a huge trend last year and it is still going strong! I love this tasteful way to show a little skin, and the combinations of fabrics are endless!

2. Printed skirts

If standing out is the effect you’re going for, prints might just be the best way to go! You can keep the silhouette and details simple and let a really fabulous printed fabric shine on your dress.

3. High-low skirts

This is not only a show-stopper in terms of design, but it’s super practical! You won’t have to worry about holding up your hem while you walk. Safety + beauty = a great trend for 2016.

4. Short skirts

Long gowns aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a short, flirty dress that is still a step up from homecoming attire, try a knee-length or tea-length dress this spring. The length will help you stand out among gowns, you can rock some stunning shoes, plus you won’t have to worry about tripping in those heels!

5. Detachable skirts

Can’t decide between the usual long gown and a daring short skirt? Get both by opting for a detachable skirt! Keep it long for pics and leave the skirt at the coat check when you hit the dance floor. It’s a win-win!

6. Colored lace

This trend is a great way to bring the classic beauty of lace into modern times. Opt for bright hues or luxurious jewel tones to get the look that’s right for you.

7. Stunning backs

Whether you want to bare your whole back or show off some stunning beading or appliques, this is my ultimate favorite trend for 2016. There’s something classy about covering up in front and featuring your back.

Which trends are you excited to rock? I hope you started to get some great ideas for your perfect prom dress! If you have an idea that you simply can’t find in stores, Hannah Caroline Couture would LOVE to work with you and design + create that perfect dress. Regardless of your ideas, style, size, or any other factor, HCC can help you out. Simply e-mail me, the designer, for a free consultation, and create and share a Pinterest board of all your favorite elements!

If your mind is full of ideas and the prom stores don’t carry it, let Hannah Caroline Couture bring your ideas to life! Check out some of my prom portfolio here and send me an e-mail if you’d like more information!


How to Mix and Match Your Bridal Party

There’s a growing trend with weddings today where brides are letting their bridesmaids choose their own dresses. This concept of mixing and matching a bridal party scared me initially, because, as a fashion designer and as someone who helps women look amazing on their big day, I knew that there are a lot of places that this trend could go very wrong for brides.

However, today I’m going to bring you some tips for striking the perfect balance between letting your bridesmaids have the freedom they deserve (after all, they’re paying for the dress!) and making sure the women you’re surrounded with on your big day look great at the altar and in your pictures.

Always have at least one unifying factor.

If you’re allowing your bridal party to pick out their own dresses, make sure there is at least one element in common between every dress. This could be a color, a style, a neckline, a length, a theme, or a fabric, but there must be at least one of these in common, or you will run the risk of having one or more dresses stand out and distract from your gown.

Some ways you can accomplish this cohesiveness include:

  • Having all the dresses in the same cut but in different fabrics.
  • Having all the dresses in a certain theme, like 1920s flapper or 1950s pinup.
  • Having all the dresses feature a textile like lace or chiffon, or a certain embellishment.

Have all your bridesmaids order from the same retailer.

Sending all your bridesmaids to the same retailer will ensure a similar feel to each dress. However, there is an even better alternative to this, as retailers may not have enough continuity, or they may not carry the inventory that you and your maids all agree on.

Consider sending your bridesmaids to one fashion designer, such as my custom design brand, Hannah Caroline Couture. Working with me allows you as the bride to set parameters for your bridesmaids, such as colors, styles, and materials, and allows me to work with each of your bridesmaids individually to find the differentiating factors in her dress that will work best for her body type, budget, and personal style.

This is a great new option for brides that have bridesmaids with different body shapes, styles, and budgets. Combining each maid’s factors with the parameters that you give me allows me to guide her into a dress that satisfies her taste and yours, and fits seamlessly with the rest of the bridal party. This is a great way to maintain some control while still giving your bridesmaids fool-proof options. They’ll love their dresses, and you’ll love how it all comes together on your big day!

Going this non-traditional route with your bridesmaids’ dresses ensures that each bridesmaid will wear something that you approve of. All decisions about the dresses will go through both your expertise about what you want your wedding to look like, as well as my design expertise about the shapes, colors, and other elements that affect how a dress will look on each bridesmaid in pictures, in person, and in the group of other bridesmaids’ dresses. Everything is subject to your approval and you get to decide how much control you want to retain.

So, what does this process look like in action? 

First, I’ll have a free consultation with you about the timeline, theme, bridesmaids’ price range(s), and what styles, colors and other elements that are acceptable to offer to the bridesmaids. You can either start this process by sending me an e-mail or by filling out this form.

Next, I’ll meet with each bridesmaid individually via e-mail, phone, or Skype. I’ll explain the basic parameters and offer suggestions for different elements like necklines, lengths, pockets, and special elements like belts and embellishments. I’ll collect a small deposit to cover the purchase of materials, which is usually around 25% of the dress price.

I’ll compile all the designs to make sure they’ll work together and contact you for approval. Then, I’ll gather fabric swatches and confirm the materials that will be used and get started on producing these dresses by hand.

As the bride, you can be as involved as you want. Do you want photos of each stage of the production process, or do you just want to see the completed dresses together? That involvement is up to you because only you can find your balance between handling your wedding planning to-do lists and retaining control over what your bridal party looks like.

Once the dresses are finished and approved by you, I’ll either hold fittings with each bridesmaid (if they’re in the Omaha area or are willing to travel here) or ship each dress out to its owner. Once my alterations are made, if any, the bridesmaids simply pay their remaining balance and get back to helping you get ready for your big day.

After the wedding, bridesmaids can choose to have their dress altered by me into something they will be able to wear many times in the future. Bridesmaids can receive a low rate on things like hemming and other small alterations to their Hannah Caroline Couture bridesmaid’s dress.

Another benefit of working with a single designer to coordinate your bridal party is that the coordination doesn’t have to stop at the bridesmaids’ dresses. From vests and bow ties that match each groomsman to their bridesmaid, to flower-girl dresses and mother-of-the-bride attire, funneling these attire decisions through a single designer ensures that all the parts of your wedding will work together seamlessly and you’ll have as little attire-related stress as possible.

If this sounds like the solution to your wedding attire needs, please reach out to me!

To read more about mixing and matching bridesmaids’ dresses, check out our reference article here.

To view Hannah Caroline Couture’s profile on profile, click here.

FFFWeek Recap

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was in New York City, getting into a cab to go to the Broad Street Ballroom to show my collection. A lot has already happened since my show, and I am so excited to see what new opportunities come to my brand!

I am so thankful for all the support I have received, both from my community here in Omaha, but also from all the amazing people I met in New York. There have been a lot of people asking how the trip went, so here is a recap of my week! Get comfortable, this post will be a long one!

Day 1: Monday

Monday began at dawn with an excited but groggy-eyed flight from Omaha to NYC. Mom and I landed mid-afternoon and started getting into our Hawaiian attire for the official Luau Launch Party! I began meeting the who’s who of the industry right away, and these connections became great relationships throughout the week!

Mom and I in our Hawaiian looks
Mom and I in our Hawaiian looks
Me with the producer of FFFWeek, miss Gwen Devoe
Me with the producer of FFFWeek, miss Gwen Devoe
Me with the beautiful Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
Me with the beautiful Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
Me with the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine, Maddie Jones
Me with the editor-in-chief of Plus Model Magazine, Maddy Jones

Day 2: Tuesday

Tuesday began with a Press/Buyer media event where I had a table set up with marketing materials and my portfolio. I met several bloggers and other influencers during the event, as well as the two ladies behind a documentary about the plus-size industry!

My booth at the media event
My booth at the media event
Me with blogger Natasha Nurse of Dressing Room 8 (left) and editor-in-chief of Plus Model Mag, Maddy Jones (right)
Me with blogger Natasha Nurse of Dressing Room 8 (left) and editor-in-chief of Plus Model Mag, Maddy Jones (right)

I also went to a small business panel discussion in the afternoon, but during the break I discovered that I was already in the center of the Garment District, and just four doors down from Mood Fabrics! (For those of you who don’t obsess over Project Runway, that’s where the designers on that show go for fabric every episode.)

Day 3: Wednesday

Wednesday was the day I was worried about leading up to the trip. In the morning were the fittings, where my stress level for the rest of the week would either become non-existent, or reach dangerous levels. Fortunately, all I needed to do was switch two models’ looks and grab a couple pins. Once those were done, I knew I would be able to enjoy the rest of the week much more.

Figuring out my lineup and being filmed by Kalisha from the documentary crew
At the fittings with Kalisha (left) and Sandra (right), the ladies behind the plus-size industry documentary!

Once those were over, it was time to get ready for the Curves at Sea all-white cruise: a huge yacht full of attendees and plus-size women, all dressed in some form of white. I ran into a few of my models there, got lots of compliments on my handmade neoprene dress, and was inspired by everyone’s creativity. When you all have to wear the same color, it’s tough to stand out, but I was really impressed with everyone’s efforts!

Me with my model, supermodel Ebonie Bennett
My outfit for the night
Mom and I
Me with Kalisha and Sandra
Me with my model, supermodel Brittany Cordts

Day 4: Thursday

Thursday was our designated sightseeing day, so we hit all the stops: Times Square, Grand Central Station, Macy’s, Carlo’s Bakery, Kleinfeld’s (Say Yes to the Dress got me into sketching!), the Today Show, Chinatown, Little Italy…

Times Square
Grand Central Station
Macy’s on 34th
Carlo’s Bakery (Cake Boss on TLC)
Kleinfeld Bridal! (Say Yes to the Dress on TLC got me into sketching)
The Today Show
Little Italy
Mom and I managed to find the only gluten-free Italian restaurant in Little Italy!

Day 5: Friday

Friday= Show Day! However, I started the morning off by going to the Celebrate My Size Expo. I networked with a lot of great people there!

Me with Karen Ward and Peter Chiem, owners of the FFFWeek Boutique of the Year, Your Big Sister’s Closet
Me with the CEO of major plus brand, Ashley Stewart. He is so passionate about this company!

After the expo, we hurried back to the hotel to grab my garments and head to the venue. It was show time!

The venue, Broad Street Ballroom
Me and fellow designers getting ready backstage
Me with one of my beautiful fans, Nyla Ham!
My feature in the official show mag, Devoe Magazine
Red carpet interview with the Face of FFFWeek, Revee Lamar
My red carpet pose. Dress by HCC
Pre-runway interview with Gwen Devoe about my collection
One of my pieces. worn by Lindsey Owens
Another piece, worn by Cne Rhymes
Another piece, worn by Ariana Corrao
Another piece, worn by Lene Pelayo
Me with Beyonce’s stylist, Ty Hunter
Me with blogger Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista
Me with blogger Farrah Estrella of Estrella Fashion Report
Signing my first autograph in NYC!

Day 6: Saturday

I started off the weekend with an interview for the plus-size industry documentary in my hotel room. We took the lovely Kalisha and Sandra out to lunch to thank them for making me feel welcome in New York and for including me so much in their documentary!

Then mom and I got ready for the Saturday night finale of FFFWeek. It was hard to believe this amazing week was coming to an end. The finale included retailers and boutiques, and I got to continue to network with people.

Mom and I in our red carpet looks. Red gown by HCC
Me with FFFWeek Blogger of the Year, Kelly Augustine

Day 7: Sunday

Sunday was our last day in New York and I was definitely not ready to leave. I especially wasn’t ready to leave the Garment District. I went four times, but I still wasn’t ready to leave it behind. I went one last time and ended up buying the fabric for next year’s collection for FFFWeek, Technicolor! And also another suitcase to get it all home in…

After that, we returned to the hotel to gather everything, and the documentary ladies got a few last shots for the film. They even rode in the cab with us to the airport to get final comments.


The trip home was already sad, but our flights got delayed four separate times. Either way, I slept for a whole day when I got home and then went straight to work.

Even though the week is over, my career is just beginning.

If you would like to check out more of my Gilded collection, head over to my shop!

To follow my journey, find me on social media:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Web

The Countdown to Full-Figured Fashion Week 2015

It’s been a while since my last post, and for good reason- I have a million things going on. I successfully finished my Indiegogo campaign to fund my trip to New York in a couple weeks, and I have been working hard to make sure all my supporters have received their thank-you notes, gift cards, tee shirts, and other perks. I really appreciate everyone’s contributions- they took a lot of financial burden away from this experience!

I leave for New York in about two weeks, and the to-do list seems keep growing. I’ve got outfits to make for the collection, clothes to make for myself (I plan to represent my brand with at least one garment everyday while I’m there) and not-so-glamorous things to get straightened out like marketing materials, itineraries, and filling my days with meaningful meetings and events. 

I’ve also been working on revamping my entire home studio to make some of these tasks a lot easier, and I finally acheived sewing room nirvana over Memorial Day weekend. Check out these pictures of my new space!


Exhibit A: An open room, a bold rug (on clearance of course), and a sleek, beautiful, functional cutting table, DIY-ed for about a quarter of the cost of the ones I found online. Shoutout to my boyfriend Paul for taking the crazy ideas in my head and bringing them to life in this awesome cutting table and storage area!

Exhibit B: lots of colorful local art from the artists I’ve been discovering through RAW:Omaha! I love filling my workspace with positive phrases and lots of bright color in an otherwise plain apartment. 


Exhibit C: Tons of floor space opened up for interacting with my three favorite dress forms. Now I can drape, pin, and cut to my heart’s content. 
Finally, I’ll give you all a sneak peek of Gilded, my latest plus-size couture collection for Full-Figured Fashion Week! I am so inspired by all these interesting fabrics and gorgeous appliqués that I picked up in Chicago. 


To get more sneak peeks and follow my trip, head to Facebook and Instagram! 


Crunch Time

Hi all and happy Tuesday!

As the holidays are ending and it’s time head back to the regular grind of school, crunch time for my next season of Omaha Fashion Week is beginning. I thought it would be kinda fun to talk about what it’s like to prepare for a fashion show, especially one as big as Omaha Fashion Week (we’re the fifth largest in America, believe it or not!).

There’s a ton of work that goes into getting ready. It started back in October for a show that happens in March.

I started out by getting ready to apply for my spot in the show. That involves brainstorming my concept, which this season happens to be “if Lorde went to a dinner party in the 1950s.” It’s an edgy, darker take on the flattering styles of the 50s, and I am soooo excited to present it!

Once I got my concept, I acquired my fabrics, sketched out my ideas for others to visualize, and pitched it to the Omaha Fashion Week crew. I got accepted, and the real work began.

I decided on my model lineup, and then assigned the sketches of the looks to each of my beautiful models (I’m still looking for a couple!).

So that’s where I am now. I’ve got just over a month to sew my 8 plus-size looks, and then I’ll take to Pinterest to find my Lorde-inspired hair and makeup looks, and I’ll search for the perfect Lorde song to set the atmosphere for my show. I’ll pick out shoes for my models, complete a super-cool photo shoot with the amazingly talented Randy Edwards, and the night before the show, I’ll make an outfit for myself to wear.

Time, money, and many, many late nights go into each and every season, as well as a piece of my heart and my vision. But it’s all worth it when my models walk out on the runway and make their statement, that fashion is no longer just for one set of sizes. Fashion is for all of us, I can’t wait to show that again in March!

If you’re interested in purchasing tickets to see HCC at Omaha Fashion Week, please head over to Omaha Fashion Week. If you purchase between February 1-12, 2015, you can get 15% off with code HANNAH, and it also sends a small kickback to me to help with materials and other expenses! The show is on Thursday, March 12, 2015. See you all there!

How to: Mixing Prints

Hi all,

I hope you had an awesome holiday! Today’s post will be a topic that seems to stump many women: mixing prints.

As a math brain, I’ll start us off with an equation:

print 1 + print 2 + extra confidence = a successful outfit

I’ll provide a few simple rules, but the most important part of the equation, bolded for a reason, is confidence. You could probably even get away with breaking a rule or two and still look great, as long as you wear your ensemble with boldness!

Rule 1: Distance is key.

For the beginning print-mixer, it can help to put some distance between the prints, instead of juxtaposing them right next to each other. This could mean wearing a striped scarf with some polka-dot shoes, and having some neutral jeans in between them to lessen the drama of having two prints.

Rule 2: Limit the colors.

In order to wear two or more prints next to each other, it is important to make sure they share either a base color or all the colors. For example, you could wear a top with tan and navy flowers on it with a tan-based plaid skirt. As long as they have a major color in common, it will likely work.

You can also match all the colors, like we did in the Mixed Print Chiffon Maxi Skirt:

Midnight City

Rule 3: Contrast the proportions.

When mixing your prints, it is important to make sure one print is very small and the other is medium/large. An outfit can look too busy if both prints are tiny, and it can be unflattering when both of the prints are large. Having the combination lets the smaller print read as more of a neutral, making your outfit less in-your-face.

This HCC Menswear ensemble featuring our Cotton Lined Vest with Dart Zipper Detail puts a small, black and white houndstooth print vest with a large, red and black plaid print bow tie. They work next to each other, and having a black dress shirt serve as a neutral in between is the cherry on top.

Rule 4: Textures work as prints, too.

You don’t necessarily need two printed fabrics to achieve the mixed-print look. You can also use lace, or fabrics that aren’t overtly printed, but rather have a “matte vs. shiny” look.

Our Zebra Print Sheath Dress is a perfect example of the “matte vs. shiny” look. Pair it with polka dot heels or our black lace peplum for an elegant take on mixed prints.




The Kat Party Dress uses lace within the dress next to a damask print, and you could even pair more lace with it as tights (lace almost always mixes well with each other!).

IMG_6581 IMG_6582

Finally, although not women’s wear, our Lined Vest with Back Inset puts two prints right next to each other, but when they share a color (black) and one fabric has the “matte vs. shiny” effect, it works just fine!


Hopefully these tips serve as a nice starter guide! If you have any more tips, or questions about this topic, please sound off below in the comments and I’m happy to help!

Remember: the most important part of a multi-print outfit is your confidence.

Happy mixing!

Survey of Plus Women + Thoughts

Happy Tuesday, and Merry Almost-Christmas!

Today on the HCC blog, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on a story published earlier this week over on one of my favorite online magazines, Plus Model Mag. It talks about a recent survey of plus-size women over in the UK, but I know that a lot of these numbers are still very relevant over here.

Here are some of my takeaways from the article, and an infographic from UK retailer Curvissa (scroll down to see the graphic):

  • 87% of us don’t think we are represented enough in the fashion media
  • 66% of us don’t think our unique body shapes are fairly represented
  • 80% of us don’t think store mannequins represent our actual body shapes (seriously, just because their proportions are bigger doesn’t mean that my arms are as toned and that I have an hourglass figure and a flat tummy…how will it lay on my body??)
  • We are stuck shopping online (HCC is guilty of this, as we are still in the early stages of our business, but more in-person opportunities are always being searched for so you can fall in love with it before you buy it!)

I really found myself agreeing with all of these sentiments, as a plus-size woman myself, and I hear these same things from my customers, family, and friends all the time. My commitment to the world is to be a major player in the rise of plus-size fashion and I, as a person and as a business owner, want to be at the forefront of the efforts to end size discrimination once and for all.

Please feel free to check out the rest of the infographic below, and I would love it if you commented below with your thoughts on these stats, and add any other sentiments you may have. I promise to read all of them and take them into account as I continue in my business and my mission!


To read the original article, click here.

The Era for All

To start things off around here, I would love to share some pieces and ideas that work on any woman. Literally any body type can wear clothes from my favorite time period in fashion, the 1950s. Fun prints, sexy cuts, and the most flattering fit-and-flare silhouette came out of this time.

I love this era so much that the first HCC collection was inspired by it.

Kayla Party Dress Closeup

This little number, the Kayla Party Dress, is my favorite from the whole collection. It’s got a plunging back and a neckline covered in rhinestones, and a little surprise pop of red lining under the skirt.

IMG_6581 IMG_6582

And then there’s the Kat Party Dress. It’s such a simple cut, but the surprise in the back adds just a little bit extra to the dress.

Other great aspects of this era include the feminine details of these party dresses, and the amount of adventure you can take with the prints you wear. How else would you wear a dress with cats, lollipops, and polka dots all at once?


Since this collection, the aesthetic of Hannah Caroline Couture has become more modern and minimalistic, but these dresses will always exemplify a time when curves of any size really became appreciated.

Both of these dresses are available in the shop, via custom order, or at Atomic Bombshells pinup boutique in Midtown Crossing, Omaha!